Home Virginia Council on Women announces STEM Essay Contest winners

Virginia Council on Women announces STEM Essay Contest winners


virginiaThe Virginia Council on Women announced the winners of the fifth annual STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Essay Contest for high school junior and senior girls.

The Council on Women established this contest to award scholarships to high school junior or senior girls planning to pursue STEM careers at institutions of higher education.  This year each of the five award winners received a $9,000 scholarship. Contest award winners represented five geographic regions across Virginia.  Over 500 young women from across the Commonwealth submitted essays focusing on the student’s vision for a future STEM career.  The awardees were recognized at a reception hosted by the Governor and First Lady at the Executive Mansion on April 20.

While announcing the STEM essay contest award recipients, First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe said,“Encouraging STEM education amongst our young people will assist in this administration’s vision of building a new Virginia economy. The Governor and I understand that if we are to build a workforce of the future, it is important that we also advocate for more girls and women to excel in these high demand STEM fields. An innovative program like the STEM Essay Contest is just one tool we can use to build awareness of the great career pathways our students are pursuing in every region in Virginia.”

The award recipients are as follows:

  • Eastern Virginia/Hampton Roads: Grace Kaupas, Grassfield High School, Chesapeake, VA
  • Richmond/Central Virginia: Meredith Wilson, Douglas Freeman High School, Henrico, VA
  • Northern Virginia: Jessica Liu, Loudoun Academy of Science, Ashburn, VA
  • Southwest/Southside Virginia: Hollis Talbot Saliba, George Wythe High School, Wytheville, VA
  • Valley/Western Virginia: Cameron Kelly, Roanoke Valley Governor’s School, Roanoke, VA

Applicants were required to be females who reside in Virginia, are enrolled as a junior or senior in high school and hold at least a 2.5 GPA.

The Council extends their sincere thanks to all of the sponsors and judges of this year’s STEM Scholarship Awards.  The sponsors were: Capital One, Dominion, GE Lighting, Morrison Foerster LLP, Murphy & McGonigle, Hunton & Williams LLP, Micron, Harris Foundation, Key & Associates, Patient First, CarMax, UnitedHealthcare of the Mid-Atlantic, McGuire Woods, PC, Inova Health System, Newport News Shipbuilding, Appalachian Power, Troutman Sanders, and Commonwealth Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists, PC

The judges who generously gave their time in judging entries were: Donna Ciliberto, Katie Crepps, Kimberly Snipes, Christine Hales, Mary Wilson, Belinda Ragonese, Kit Young, Corey Jackson, Lalisha Hurt, Marianne Randazzo, Diane Tomb, Amber Morgan, Courtney Coyle, Tina Robertson, Mary Quillen, Barbara Kapas, Lauren Mandala, Beth Du, Allison Couillard,

Jessica Ankey, Brooke Trible, Meredith Harbach, Devin Pugh-Thomas, Olivia Turner, Lori Merricks, Katherine Waddell, Meta Braymer, Hala Ayala, Allison Lawrence Jones, Carol Rick Gibbons, Stephanie Estes, Sydney Klein, Swapna Bandla, Noriko Wade, James Kelly, Bianca Hawkins, Felicia Kolodner, Jennifer Honaker, Nessan Salmon Wilson, Ibe Mbanu, Roy Hawkins, Ngozi Ibe, Terika Richardson, Missy Neff Gould, Kate Wilke, and Dr. Julie J. Brown.

The purpose of the Virginia Council on Women is to help women reach their potential and maximize their contributions to society and the Commonwealth as wage earners and citizens.  The Council has initiated several projects to meet this goal.  One is the annual STEM essay contest for young women in high school.  For more information on the Council or on available sponsorship opportunities, please visit commonwealth.virginia.gov/council-on-women/.



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